Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a novel procedure which has proven effective in the treatment of major depression. We administered rTMS chronically to rats in order to determine whether this procedure affected serotonergic neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex. Basal 5-HT levels, and the effects of challenges with the 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-OH-DPAT and the 5-HT1B antagonist GR 127935 on 5-HT levels were determined using in vivo microdialysis. Rats which had undergone chronic rTMS showed reduced responses to both challenges, indicating subsensitivity of both the presynaptic 5-HT1A autoreceptors situated somatodendritically in the raphe nuclei and the 5-HT1B autoreceptors situated on nerve terminals. Since such subsensitivity has been demonstrated after other antidepressant treatments, our results indicate that these treatments and rTMS may have a common mechanism of action.
ADDITIONAL MESH HEADINGS: 2000/092000/28 11:00